February brought good news on the jobs front: the labor market remains resilient, with the unemployment rate holding at 4.9%, its lowest in eight years. Yet so many individuals are still desperately looking for work. The number of unemployed Americans who have been looking for a job for more than six months is higher than it was when the last recession started, according to the Wall Street Journal.
That’s why Saidel is excited about hiring graduates from ‘Jobs Waiting,’ a workforce re-training program that makes possible the re-training of 500 long-term unemployed people in the Hudson Valley jobs in healthcare. The program is funded by a federal Ready to Work grant, led by Westchester County and the Weschester-Putnam Workforce Development Board, and managed by the Westchester County Association.
“Jobs Waiting is helping people acquire skills needed in healthcare, a hot sector where there are always openings,” adds Saidel. ENTA has hired eight employees from Jobs Waiting program.
Here are four reasons why Saidel says Jobs Waiting candidates are appealing hires:
They are motivated.
Jobs Waiting participants attend a 6-week job training Boot Camp that runs six hours a day, four days a week, for six weeks. Coaches provide one-on-one counseling, and participants learn how to transfer existing skills to a new career. “Because they have shown up every day for 6 weeks and gone through this program, we believe that they are committed, and motivated to succeed,” says Saidel.
They are professional.
“In my field, you meet some candidates who do not present themselves professionally or respond to emails and calls in a timely manner," says Saidel. "We have not found that to be the case with Jobs Waiting candidates, who have all been professional and responsive. We’ve found this to be true throughout the interview process and well after they are hired. The training and coaching is a real benefit to job seekers and employers.”
They are ready for more.
After six weeks of intensive job readiness training, Jobs Waiting candidates are primed to learn more advanced skills and eventually, for upward mobility. ENT and Allergy has opportunities for on-the-job training, and movement to other departments in the company. “We have been so pleased with the people we have hired through this program, who have already proved themselves to be more than capable. We are happy to provide a foot in the door that may lead to further opportunities,” says Saidel.
The program works!
Saidel has been involved from the beginning in the regional collaboration that led to the creation of Jobs Waiting, and says it has been rewarding on a personal and professional level. “Seeing it go from grant application to program implementation has been tremendous. We’ve hired eight graduates already, and I look forward to evaluating more candidates throughout the seven participating counties. We’re meeting our goals, it’s running well.”